The OPFL 2021 Combine and Recruiting Showcase is here! Join the OPFL Virtual ENK Academy to be SEEN and be EVALUATED. The Combine and Recruiting Showcase is FREE and opened to ALL Players born between 2001 and 2011. Get all the details at www.optfb.ca
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Toronto ON - Injury prevention through enhanced performance! This is the theme for 2021 and beyond as Elite NeuroKinetix (ENK) and Ontario Provincial Football League (OPFL), announce a new partnership agreement intended to make football safer for athletes across Ontario. This partnership represents the mutual interest of both organizations to promote a culture of safety and injury prevention throughout the youth football community.
“Together with parents, athletes, coaches, volunteers, and administrators the goal of the League is to help improve the game that they've come to expect and deserve, with a focus continuing to be putting athletes first. I believe this partnership with ENK is essential in reaching this goal.” said Glen Mills, a co-founder of the OPFL and President of the Essex Ravens. “As coaches, player safety has always been our top concern and promoting safety while optimizing performance is a balancing act.” added KJ Kenemy, OPFL Vice-President.
As an Official Partner, ENK will work with the OPFL to bring its expertise in injury prevention, research, and athlete development directly to youth football athletes, beginning in the 2021 off-season. Through this partnership athletes and coaches will gain free access to ENK’s new online platform, ENK Academy. The ENK Academy platform provides a digital space for athletes and coaches to actively improve and monitor skill development for safety and performance both in person and at a distance. The online platform also provides flexibility and will allow teams to adapt quickly and optimally in their return to play within the COVID-19 context.
“Long-term development of athletes is at the forefront of this collaboration. The ability to provide unique, age-specific feedback and individualized recommendations with a step-by-step model of learning will enhance enjoyment, safety, and skill development for the appropriate age groups. Ultimately, this will further the physical and mental well-being of athletes by maximizing the benefits of sport participation at the present and for their future.” added Vincent DiStefano, ENK Scientist & Child Development Specialist.
When asked about the timing of this partnership, Terry Barkley, OPFL President, stated that he thinks that this is exactly the right time to do it “This is a mission-based element for us. We're here to advance, unify and grow football in every way that we can. And that includes obviously best practices, standards and support for our member organizations across the board. We've always been very proud to promote player safety in our member organizations , and now, we are very excited to have ENK to help us drive progress.”
In accordance with Rowan’s Law, the ENK team will provide continuous support to OPFL members in 1) conducting player risk assessments and risk-monitoring, 2) developing data-informed interventions and guidelines for player safety, and 3) ultimately decreasing exposure to head impacts among football players. The objective of this partnership is to use an innovative, safety-driven approach to continue to support optimal development among youth football athletes. Through this important initiative, the OPFL continues to grow as a leading organization providing quality programming for youth football players across all age groups and levels of play.
Allen Champagne (PhD), Chief Scientific Officer at Elite NeuroKinetix, said “This partnership is a unique opportunity to rebuild and scale the ways that we assess, monitor and optimize player development using principles from existing coaching practices in the context of technological advancements and data science. They can be leveraged, altogether, as tools to customize skill-based development and behavioural interventions at the individual level, based on specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses, and, by that process, actively work to reduce the risk of head injuries and optimize performance on the field. Beyond the scope of optimizing player development, this is an important and exciting turning point for amateur football towards providing athletes opportunities to reach their highest potential, while breaking down existing barriers for exposure and opening avenues for recruitment nationally, as avenues to take their career to the next level.”
More details will be posted to our ENK Academy page
Thanks for the continued support of Essex Ravens Football Club. It is very much appreciated.
Thanks to all who took part on behalf of the Essex Raven Football program. Also special thanks to Fury Training Grounds for all you do in the community
Vyshonne Janusas Finalist Gino Fracas Football Award.
Varsity Ravens Finalist Team of the Year
Glen Mills Finalist Coach of the Year
Glen Mills Finalist Executive of the Year
The WESPYS are Tuesday March 10, 2020
Alec D’Angela is a Windsor native graduating from Holy Names high school and a former Essex ravens football player. His dedication and hard work earned him a Division II NCAA football and academic scholarship to Tiffin University in Ohio. This transition, while challenging, was also rewarding. After just one year he became the youngest individual in school history to be named a Team Captain. A title he maintained for three years until he suffered a season ending knee injury. Knowledge of the game was enhanced under the coaching staff at Tiffin University. His defensive coordinator is now coach for the Tennessee Titans. Football was not the only accolade achieved. Alec earned the Dean’s list credential’s every semester. In May 2019 Alec graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in both accounting and finance. Alec is currently a financial analyst at Vistaprint. Alec is excited and eager to rejoin the flock but this time as a coach. Players can expect that Alec will be dedicated coach helping players reach their highest potential.
Another dominating performance by the defence paved the way for the Essex Ravens to claim the team’s first Ontario Provincial Football League title.
Essex’s defence held the Ottawa Sooners’ offence to two field goals as the Ravens secured a 25-6 win in Saturday’s premier varsity championship game at TD Waterhouse Stadium in London.
“We’ve been playing with the same core of group of guys for long time,” Ravens linebacker Zack Argent said. “I always felt we had potential and this year we just all put it together. We were all like brothers. We had such a bond.”
After a season-opening loss in London to the two-time league champion Junior Mustangs, the Ravens reeled of 10-straight wins en route to the title.
“I just think there was a focus and commitment to winning a championship,” Ravens’ head coach Glen Mills said. “They were incredibly focused on what needed to be done and they never complained. They just came to practice, worked and got it done.”
Ottawa used an early turnover to take a 3-0 lead, but the Ravens pulled even at halftime on a 32-yard field goal by Griffen Fenton.
“I think it was nerves,” Ravens wide receiver Vyshonne Janusas said of the team’s early struggles on offence. “We got the first half out of the way, calmed down and realized it’s just another game and shouldn’t look at it any differently than any other game.”
Essex took its first possession of the second half to the end zone with Dante Daniels pulling in a 13-yard slat from Emmitt Rosati for a touchdown that Fenton converted to put the Ravens up 10-3.
“I was telling everyone, at halftime ‘Hey, I have faith in our offence and they’re going to turn it on, score again and trust me, we’re going to win,’” said the 18-year-old Argent, who is headed to the University of Windsor. “They’re not going to score on our defence. We have faith in them and they have faith in us.”
Ottawa did use another turnover to pull to within 10-6 after three quarters, but got not closer.
“Our defence really stepped up,” the 18-year-old Janusas said. “It means a lot for me because I haven’t had a championship in football in six years. I didn’t win one in high school (at Herman). No matter what sport play or where you are, winning is a confidence booster and humbles you and make you want to work. It was a blast.”
Tai Colquhoun scored on a seven-yard run and Aiden Mitrevski scored on a one-yard run with Fenton converting both and adding a single to close the scoring as Essex claimed its fifth title in franchise history and first since 2015.
“It means a lot,” Argent said. “I’ve been in a couple of championships. I’ve been playing since Grade 6 or 7 and been to a couple and lost. This might be my last year and it’s great to finish on high note.
“Usually the underdog is a preferred role, but I really feel this team was different. We had a sense of confidence, but not cockiness. We knew what we were capable of.”
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